Ole Miss prof: Senators 'don't deserve your civility'
- A University of Mississippi professor tweeted that U.S. senators "don't deserve your civility."
- The tweet came just days after Sen. Ted Cruz was run out of a Washington, D.C. restaurant by anti-Brett Kavanaugh protesters.
- UM Chancellor Jeff Vitter responded to the professor's tweet in a Facebook post, saying the statement did "not reflect" the university's values.
An assistant professor at the University of Mississippi (UM) tweeted that United States senators “don’t deserve your civility” and encouraged people to disrupt their meals and take their food.
“Don't just interrupt a Senator's meal, y'all. Put your whole damn fingers in their salads. Take their [appetizers] and distribute them to the other diners. Bring boxes and take their food home with you on the way out. They don’t deserve your civility,” James Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at UM, tweeted on Oct. 6.
Thomas' tweet comes just days after anti-Brett Kavanaugh protesters ran Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) out of a Washington, D.C. restaurant, as WRC-TV reported.
Thomas has yet to receive any direct communication from UM regarding the social media post, according to The Daily Mississippian. However, the professor's tweet appears to have prompted a Facebook response from UM Chancellor Jeff Vitter.
“A recent social media post by a UM faculty member did not reflect the values articulated by the university, such as respect for the dignity of each individual and civility and fairness,” Vitter wrote. “While I passionately support free speech, I condemn statements that encourage acts of aggression. I urge all members of the Ole Miss community to demonstrate civility and respect for others and to honor the ideal of diversity of thought that is a foundational element of the academy.”
“I’m guessing [Vitter’s statement] was directed at me, but you’d need to ask [Vitter] since he wrote it. Only he would know who he was directing it toward,” Thomas told The Daily Mississippian. “I support the Chancellor’s right to free speech and to express himself through his social media. The free exchange of ideas is a hallmark of higher education.”
Thomas hung up the phone when Campus Reform called his office for comment.
Campus Reform reached out to the University of Mississippi but did not receive a response.
The Facebook page “Our State Flag Foundation” highlighted the tweet in a Facebook post that was shared more than 3,100 times. Some who commented on the post called on UM to take action against the professor.
Editor's note: Campus Reform encourages civil discourse and acknowledges professors' First Amendment right to free speech. The purpose of this article, like any other, is to present the facts and allow our readers to form their own opinions.
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